High school football has come a long in the last few years. It wasn’t too long ago that coaches would have to meet with opposing coaches at some midpoint location between the two school to trade videos to prepare for games. Now, high school can instantly trade videos online.
Taking it one step further, high school football can now use a type of instant replay on the sidelines. It can’t be used to challenge calls, but it can help a team see what it is doing wrong, or right, and make adjustments in game instead of having to wait until after the game is over to watch the film.
While the program came out last year, it took a bit of time for a lot of schools to get it. Hobbs started using the program this season.
“We just got it this year,” Gleghorn said. “It is called Hudl sideline. … We played Clovis and they have it also. We played Artesia and they have it also. Roswell, they had it (Friday) night. It makes a huge difference.”
For the Hobbs football team, the next step was seen in full force Friday night during the Eagles’ Homecoming game. With a camera in the end zone and another coach filming from the press box, the Eagles are part of a new wave of technology available to schools.
“We have the end zone camera and the press box camera,” Gleghorn said. “So we can have both of those views on the iPad on the sideline and the iPad is hooked up to the TV. Teenagers are very visual learners, like a lot of us really, but teenagers especially.”
Friday night, after every offensive drive, the Eagles were constantly watching what they did right and wrong. Learning the errors they made as well as seeing the things that were working for them, and it was all thanks to the TV on the sideline that was connected to the two video feeds from the team.
While the video system is new to the program this season, it’s not to the whole area. Gleghorn said Artesia was using something similar to it last year, but the Eagles didn’t get the technology until this season.
Three games into the season and it is already paying dividends for Hobbs.
“It is good on adjustments on offense,” Gleghorn said. “Our kids are so smart, they know our schemes and everything and our offense so well. They can say, yeah, this is happening and so we watch it and say yup, lets do this instead. Just to go back, it is really like instant replay.”
Friday night, the Eagles were able to see the mistakes they were making and make adjustments. Instead of having to wait until Saturday morning to watch film, the players saw it on the field. When the second half began, the Eagles scored on their first three drives, taking a lead they never gave up.
“We threw that interception on a role out, the first play after they scored,” Gleghorn said. “I mean it is first down, so we go back and look at it. One of the routes wasn’t very good and so that didn’t help. But we were able to tell the kid he got inside leverage instead of outside leverage and that is why you weren’t open. You have to get the correct leverage. … It is instant feedback and it is invaluable.”
Hobbs isn’t the only Lea County school using the new system. Lovington is also using Hudl Sideline this year.
Anthony Gonzales, the Wildcats head coach, said his team also got the new system this year and has been using it through the first three games. Gonzales said there are advantages and disadvantages to it.
“In game adjustments are so much easier just because you can actually see their adjustments to your scheme,” Gonzales said. “But, you have to have great wifi and that is not always the case everywhere.”
While the Eagles got their system through the booster club, the Wildcats did a fundraiser to purchase theirs. Gonzales said his team bought the cameras and equipment outright but has to pay $1,500 a year to use the service.
On Friday, both Hobbs and Lovington will get a chance to put the new system to use against each other when the Eagles host Lovington for the annual Lea County rivalry game at Watson Memorial Stadium.